LONDON, Sept 1 Neil Woodford, one of Britain's
most high-profile fund managers, said he has sold his fund's
stake in banking group HSBC, citing concerns over the
potential impact on the company of several industry-wide probes.
"In particular, I am worried that the ongoing investigation
into the historic manipulation of Libor and foreign exchange
markets could expose HSBC to significant financial penalties,"
he said in a blog posting on his fund's website.
"Not only are these potentially serious offences in the eyes
of the regulator, but HSBC is very able to pay a substantial
Woodford, a favourite among investors due to his strong
performance track record, said the size of any potential fine
was unquantifiable and therefore represented an unquantifiable
"Nevertheless, a substantial fine could hamper HSBC's
ability to grow its dividend, in my view. I have therefore sold
the fund's position in HSBC, reinvesting the proceeds into parts
of the portfolio in which I have greater conviction," he added.
CF Woodford Equity Income Fund had 2.68 percent of its
assets in HSBC shares at the end of July, according to the
Woodford left Invesco Perpetual earlier this year to set up
his own company.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Simon Jessop)